MONTCLAIR, NJ - "All are welcome to sign up for the Summer Reading Program," said Lisa Sedita, Supervisor of Youth Services at Montclair Public Library (MPL).
The Montclair Public Library opened the Summer Reading Program this year with a Carnival on Saturday. The carnival was designed to bring awareness to the community of the activities that the library has during the summer months.
Balloon and tattoo artists were on site entertaining the children. There was also an icee-maker and snacks for the children as well as a host of carnival games. Some of the booth games included Fish Out of Water, Knock em’ Down, Ping Pong and Bean Bag Toss. Hula hoop contests, sidewalk chalk art and guessing jars also entertained the children.
The idea for the carnival came from a group of teen Library volunteers. Teen advisors have been working with the library staff to design kid-friendly activities for the community that also bring awareness to the Library’s Summer Reading Program.
"We have a teen advisory group that gives us ideas for activities that they want to have here at the library," said Justin Kontonicolaou, Youth Adult Librarian at MPL. "The teen volunteers thought of the games for the carnival and they are also here helping out today," she continued.
Aidan Hsieh came to the carnival with his mom and siblings. He said, "I am enjoying the carnival. I liked knocking down the cans the most. Since we're at the library, of course we went inside to read."
Many community members follow the MPL on facebook and heard of the event from the website, Library bulletins or through word of mouth.
Bianca Nichson found out about the carnival from a friend and brought her 11 year old daughter. She expressed, "It was sweet that the library did this for the kids."
The MPL has a line up of activities for kids and families all summer long. The MPL calendar comes out monthly. "The events calendar for August will be sent out next week," Sedita added.
Sedita continued, "Our volunteer staff of teens serve as an advisory board to the library. The teens also help with our summer reading program. The goal of the summer reading program is to encourage people to read. We are also part of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System where people living in surrounding communities can also borrow books from our library.”
The Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS), is a consortium of 75 public libraries in northern New Jersey. Library card holders in the network can borrow from any of the 75 BCCLS libraries. For more information, log onto http://www.montclairlibrary.org